Thursday, May 22, 2014

Church Gets TRO Permitting Use of After-School Space

In Prairie Valley Baptist Church v. Whitney Independent School District, (TX Dist. Ct., May 19, 2014), a Texas trial court granted a temporary restraining order requiring Whitney High School to provide a classroom for one hour a week after school for use by the Christian Worldview Ministry (CWM). According to the complaint (full text) in the case, the school permits several secular outside groups to use school facilities, but the school board denied CWM's request for a variety of reasons, one of which was that the activity was too sectarian.  In granting the TRO, the court said that the school board's action substantially burdened plaintiff's free exercise of religion and deprived it of its fundamental right to freedom of speech, without furthering a compelling governmental interest or using the least restrictive means for doing so. A hearing on plaintiff's request for a temporary injunction is scheduled for May 30. Liberty Institute has links to all of the documents in the case. Christian News Network reports on the decision.